Unfortunately, there are a bunch of foreclosed properties lurking about. The good news is that these same properties often are great deals for the right individuals. But when dealing with a foreclosure, typically, the seller won't make any repairs to the property. You see, the seller, usually a bank or a secondary lender, has already lost money on the property. So, these entities are very unwilling (or in some cases, completely unwilling) to put a new roof on the home or make sure the heat and air unit is working. And that poses a problem.
It's because when you get the fantastic 30 year fixed mortgage at the unbelievable low interest rates you hear about these days, the property has to be inhabitable. Certain things are a must. Health and safety concerns (banisters, working toilets and running water) are just non-negotiable. And the truth of the matter is that many foreclosed properties, while still fantastic deals, aren't exactly up to snuff in terms of "ready for the moving van." When one isn't able to make a mortgage payment, one doesn't necessarily maintain the property in top condition, which is the case many times with foreclosures. A lender requires you to be able to live in that residence you're buying. Otherwise, you may decide it's not worth it and walk away from your debt obligation.
So what are your options? Well, you can get a bank loan. But, the bank's guidelines are mostly short term. So it's not a long term solution. You can also perhaps get a 30 year fixed conventional loan, depending on the condition of the property. However, you can be limited by many factors. Especially if your credit score is below a 680, a conventional loan might not be very affordable.
That's where the FHA 203(K) loan comes into play if you're buying a primary residence. Because it's an FHA loan, you have a low down payment and premium pricing available with only a 620 credit score. So, that in itself is special about this product. Typically, FHA's standards regarding the condition of the property are pretty sound and unwaivering. Did I mention you have to be able to actually live in the home and have running water and a working roof when you close? Well, FHA is particularly particular on these matters. They want their customers in a safe, affordable home. That's the focus of their business. As well, you are limited by the FHA guidelines as far as loan size goes.
So, what's so special about a 203(K) loan? It allows the buyer to make some of those very necessary repairs or very wanted upgrades by financing them into the loan amount, and into only one loan. And I mentioned this earlier, but the 203(K) loan will work on a refinance, too. Maybe you want to bust out that wall and create a bigger closet. Whatever the need, it may be a solution.
The program allows you to finance up to $35,000 in improvements to the property. The value of the appraisal is based upon the "as completed" condition of the property once the upgrades or repairs are made. The repairs have to be completed by licensed contractor - you can't do the work yourself.
Thus, if you need a little work done, the 203(K) loan may just prove to be a top notch solution.
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